NPB news: July 15, 2022

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Between two coronavirus postponements and two rainouts, the Central League-leading Yakult Swallows missed their fourth game in seven days, leaving just two CL games to be played Friday night.

In those games, Shogo Akiyama finally made his presence felt at the plate, while the Hanshin Tigers narrowly avoided being shutout.

The Seibu Lions, meanwhile, who pulled into a virtual tie for first place in the Pacific League on Thursday, announced three more infections Friday in addition to six infections discovered during the week, including shortstop and captain Sosuke Genda and closer Tatsushi Masuda. The team said it would not interrupt baseball activities.

Friday’s games

Tigers 2, Dragons 1: At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin managed three hits and a walk – a walk that preceded Fumiya Hojo’s second-inning home run off rookie Kotaro Ueda (0-3), while Chunichi stranded seven base runners.

Koyo Aoyagi (10-1) surrendered a first-inning run but little else over six innings in which he allowed six hits and no walks. Raul Alcanatara worked a 1-2-3 seventh, Atsuki Yuasa retired Daiyan Viciedo to end the eighth with two men on, and Suguru Iwazaki earned his 18th save.

Akira Neo, who has gone from outfielder to shortstop to two-way player to pitcher this season due to his inability to hit, hit 95 mph in a 1-2-3 seventh inning for the Dragons.

Carp 6, Giants 3, 11 innings: At Tokyo Dome, reserve catcher Yoshitaka Isomura hit a two-out grand slam, the first of his career, to break a 2-2 11th-inning tie, off rookie Taiki Kikuchi (0-2). Shogo Akiyama hit his first homer as a Carp, staking Daichi Osera to a 2-0 first-inning lead against Giants rookie Iori Yamasaki.

Gregory Polanco, who had the third of three straight no-out singles off Osera when Yomiuri got on the board in the fourth, singled and tied it on Takumi Oshiro’s sixth-inning triple. Oshiro hit his eighth homer in the 11th inning to complete the scoring.

The Carp threw torpedoed any chance they had to score in the ninth against Taisei Ota, who hit one batter and walked another only to have two guys pinch-run their way into caught-stealing outs at second.

Saturday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Lions: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-5, 2.91) vs Kona Takahashi (6-6, 2.66)

Eagles vs Buffaloes: Miyagi Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Masahiro Tanaka (4-7, 2.95) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (9-4, 1.72)

Marines vs Hawks: Chiba Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Enny Romero (7-4, 2.34) vs Nao Higashihama (6-3, 2.48)

Giants vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Matt Andriese (0-1, 2.16) vs Masato Morishita (6-5, 3.11)

BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shota Imanaga (4-2, 2.92) vs Juri Hara (6-3, 3.90)

Tigers vs Dragons: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hiroto Saiki (1-0, 0.00) vs Yudai Ono (4-6, 2.94)

Active roster moves 7/15/2022

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/25

Central League


SwallowsP35Koki Sugiyama
GiantsP97Haruto Inoue
DragonsP67Kotaro Ueda
BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto
BayStarsP47Yoshiki Sunada


TigersP42Kyle Keller
GiantsP57Kyosuke Takagi
BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
BayStarsP95Tatsuya Ishikawa

Pacific League


HawksOF31Tomoya Masaki
HawksOF64Yusuke Masago
FightersP47Kenya Suzuki
FightersC60Takuya Kori
FightersIF44Uta Sakaguchi
FightersOF69Hokuto Miyata
LionsIF62Natsuo Takizawa
LionsOF58Masato Kumashiro

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